Public input means board likely to stay

Future representation of Wanaka in the Queenstown Lakes District looks set to include the area’s community board, following overwhelming public feedback to retain it.

Queenstown Lakes District councillors will be asked to consider adopting the final representation review proposal at a council meeting on Thursday.

Senior governance adviser and electoral officer Jane Robertson said the proposals had been amended as a result of public feedback during the consultation and hearing process.

Key elements of the final proposal included retention of the Wanaka Community Board, and the Arrowtown ward to form part of a new Arrowtown-Kawarau ward, outlined through the submissions process.

The proposal also recommended an increase in the total number of councillors from 10 to 11.

There would be three wards, with four councillors elected by voters in the Queenstown-Whakatipu ward, four by voters in the Wanaka-Upper Clutha ward and three by voters in a new Arrowtown-Kawarau ward.

The mayor would continue to be voted for across the whole district.”

Ms Robertson said the hearings panel had recommended the community board be retained albeit with a different composition.

Councillors will be asked to consider adopting a Wanaka-Upper Clutha Community Board comprising four members elected directly by voters in that ward, and one of the four Wanaka-Upper Clutha Ward councillors appointed to the board by the council, she said.

Mayor Jim Boult said one of the initial recommendations of the advisory group had been to disestablish the community board... "but, with two-thirds of the 300 or so submitters asking to retain the board, the hearings panel listened and now recommends the board is retained,” he said.

This was "a clear example of local democracy at work," Mr Boult said.

A period of appeals and/or objections would follow until 5pm on Friday, October 22.

If any appeals and/or objections were made the final decision would be made by the Electoral Commission.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

 

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